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How much hidden sugar is in your favorite beverage?  It may be more than you think.

Although you can’t see it, popular beverages like soda, lemonade, sweet tea, sports drinks, and coffee drinks pictured above all have 15- 26 packets of sugar per bottle.

Most folks probably wouldn’t eat 26 packets of sugar but don’t realize that they are drinking them.

A single 20 ounce soda actually has 130-150% of the daily value of added sugar that is recommended for an entire day.

Which drinks had the most?  Among those that we tested, soda came out on top.

Third place was cola. One 20 ounce bottle had 65 grams of added sugar which is 21.7 packets or 130% of the entire daily value.

Second place was orange soda. One 20 ounce bottle had 73 grams of added sugar which is 24 packets or 146% of the entire daily value.

The grand prize was a tropical lime soda with 77 grams of added sugar which is almost 26 packets of sugar or 154% of the daily value for an entire day.

While soda came out on top, we found an alarming amount in sweet tea, lemonade, sports drinks, and coffee drinks also. In fact, a sweetened coffee from a popular chain may have 90-100 grams of sugar which is almost two entire days’ worth.

What about diet drinks? They replace sugar with chemical artifical sweeteners that are virtually calorie free.  While artifical sweeteners are not likely to harm your health, large amounts may not be helping it either.

That is because “repeated exposure trains our preference.”  Consumption of large amounts of artificial sweeteners usually encourages a preference for sweet flavors– also known as a “sweet tooth.”  So we end up eating other sugary foods all day long and negate our calorie savings.

The best sweetener is one that isn’t really sweet at all. Try to cut back on all added sugars and artificial sweeteners in foods and beverages. The less you eat, the less you will likely crave.